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Winter Schedule for Park Facilities

Oneida, Tennessee:  The onset of winter brings shorter days, colder weather and reduced visitor use.  Some facilities within the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area will close for the winter or observe reduced hours and operations.  “Closing some under-utilized facilities will help save energy and personnel time that otherwise would have to be used to maintain those facilities through the winter months.  Our goal is to accommodate visitor needs while saving as much taxpayer money as possible,” said Superintendent Niki Stephanie Nicholas.

The Bandy Creek Visitor Center in the Big South Fork is currently on reduced hours of operation for the late fall and winter seasons.  The Bandy Creek Visitor Center is now open from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, each day.  The Visitor Center will be open every day except December 25.  The park is open for use every day of the year.  The Blue Heron Bookstore and Interpretive Contact Station have been closed for the winter as of November 1.  The Blue Heron Mining Camp is open for visits throughout the year whenever road conditions allow safe access.

The Bandy Creek, Blue Heron, and Bear Creek horse campgrounds are currently open on a first-come, first-served basis until the end of November.  The Bandy Creek group camp will be closing immediately after Veterans Day.  All other campsites will be available on a first-come, first-served basis until Monday, November 30, at which time Bandy Creek Campground loops A, B, and C, Blue Heron Campground, and Bear Creek horse camp will close for the winter.  Bandy Creek loop D and Alum Ford Campground are open throughout the year.

Days may be shorter and the weather cooler, but the Big South Fork has a great deal to offer during the winter months.  To find out how you may continue to enjoy the Big South Fork in the coming months, call the Bandy Creek Visitor Center at (423) 286-7275, or visit us online at

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s more than 400 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at

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